Mad Scientists Wanted for Research on Irrational Mechanics

by Giulio Prisco

I am a mad scientist interested in future science and technology able to resurrect the dead from the past. I look for hints, clues and glimpses in today’s speculative, highly imaginative science. Do you want to join me?

The recently published book “Technological Resurrection: A Thought Experiment,” by Jonathan Jones, provides a short and readable first introduction to our ideas on technological resurrection. See my review on Mondo 2000. According to Jones, future engineers will be able to teleport our consciousness to the future with ultra-technology based on quantum effects, wormholes and whatnot.

Technological resurrection science is likely to involve next-next generation physics of huge energies, infinitesimal scales, space-time noodles and quantum ultra-weirdness, not to mention higher dimensions and parallel worlds. The same science will take us to the stars, perhaps faster than light (FTL), perhaps open the way to some sort of time travel, and perhaps permit understanding God(s). Or build God(s), or become God(s).

I call this research program “Irrational Mechanics” (see below).

Before becoming a mad scientist, I used to be a “real” scientist in academy and public research centers. I know the science establishment pretty well, certainly well enough to realize that what I’m saying is so heretical that no scientist can enter safely. There are a lot of scientists who entertain similar ideas, but even mentioning them is career suicide. Developing these ideas is for politically incorrect amateur citizen scientists like me, and perhaps you.

We can’t do real research because our skills are too limited or too rusty, and/or we have to do other things for a living. What we can do is research on others’ research. But that’s good enough, because the heavy lifting work is already done by top scientists, only they aren’t allowed to even mention some deep implication of their own work. Laying out the heretic implications is up to us. Of course, we must understand the science first.

For example, many enthusiasts believe that the spooky correlations between quantum-entangled particles could be used to send FTL instant messages, or signal backward in time. But unfortunately, according to our current understanding, entanglement is real but can’t be used to send FTL instant messages.

“mad scientist” Frank Tipler

Why? Because measuring the spin of one of a pair of entangled particles always gives a random result  —  even if the results of the two measurements are correlated — and any attempt to preset the spin of a particle would break the entanglement. A good analogy is two decks of “magic” cards that are always in the same order, but the magic only works if both decks are well shuffled first, and cheating breaks the magic. Read more “Mad Scientists Wanted for Research on Irrational Mechanics”

Mathemagician Ralph Abraham: We Need Another Miracle

A little wind here, and the atmosphere interacts with the geosphere interacts with the biosphere interacts with the noosphere interacts with culture politics and society, and eventually back into the atmosphere. Huge nonlinear feedback loops. You, Ralph and I are part of a whole system that can’t be reduced to separate parts but must be understood as a whole.

by Giulio Prisco

I missed Mondo 2000. The internet wasn’t a thing in the late eighties, and I lived in Europe (still do). I didn’t miss Wired — I immediately subscribed after stumbling upon the first printed issue — but I didn’t realize that it was a watered-down commercial version of something more interesting.

Now our esteemed host is bringing Mondo back, and I hope this new online magazine will be as epoch-making as the original printed Mondo. In the meantime, we can find PDFs of some old Mondo issue collected in the Mondo 2000 History Project and other archives.

Had I been a Mondo reader in the late eighties and early nineties, I would have loved finding chaos and complexity prophet Ralph Abraham there as a frequent contributor.

I knew of Ralph as the mathematician who wrote “Foundations of Mechanics,” which I loved to read instead of my boring college textbooks to try and understand some of the magic of differential geometry and its applications to Einstein’s cosmology. I understood maybe ten percent, but that ten percent was useful.

Ralph seems to consider his life as a square university professor as a boring prelude to his real and very unsquare life as a cyberculture icon and explorer of the wildest fringes of mathematics, physics, history, society, life, the universe and everything. Read more “Mathemagician Ralph Abraham: We Need Another Miracle”